Prosecutions accelerate as new laws start to bite

A surge of prosecutions last month is being hailed as the first sign that the growth of anti-cybercrime laws and international cooperation is having an effect.

The prosecution of spammer Jeremy Jaynes, the first brought under the state of Virginia's tough new anti-spam laws, was followed by other cases for phishing, virus writing and theft of source code.

"This is the result of long-term capacity building and it's good to see," said Chris Painter, deputy chief at the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the U.S. Department of Justice. "Criminals now realize there are consequences to their actions."

On November 5, Jeremy Jaynes, a 30 year-old from North Carolina, was sentenced to nine years in prison for netting up to $750,000 a month sending junk emails.

Days later, Australian 419 scammer Nick Marinellis was jailed for four years on ten counts of fraud.

"These arrests and prosecutions show that if people commit hi-tech crime, law enforcement will track them down," said Mick Deats, head of the U.K.'s National Hi-Tech Crime Unit. "There is no hiding place on the internet."

Painter stressed the importance of global authorities continuing to work together. "We realized it's not sufficient to have the capacity in your own country. We now have a point-to-point relationship with around 40 countries," he said.

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